What If You Don’t Need To Lose Weight?

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What if we don’t need to lose weight?

Someone wrote a fairy tale about being less than you are.

We were all told it, believed it, and painstakingly paid attention to every detail. It tells of punishing yourself and finding only true happiness in every aspect of your life when you are diminished.

Shrinking your body makes you popular with your peers and people will fancy you. You will have the job of your dreams; you’ll travel the world; you’ll live your best life, and you’ll live happily ever after.

If you are not thin, you are a failure. You suck. You nibbled the pizza; you ate the ice cream and you failed. No one likes you; your partner is only with you because they feel sorry for you and if you are single, you’ll never find a boyfriend or girlfriend because you are not a dress size smaller than you are now.

What a load of rubbish. This concept is hurled at us on Instagram and the TV. It follows us around at school, during parties and as we’re raising our children. Have a think about the last few words. We raise children. We intend to raise them, lift them up and yet if we’re telling them the same story we heard, they too will want to attain their best life, perfect happiness, popularity, wealth and longevity through shrinking. That is not bigging them up, that is making them want to shrivel up too.

Your self-worth has been determined by how thin you are and what you think the scales should say through someone else’s narrative. What a waste of life.

“Women, you’re going on holiday and in order to have a good time, you need to lose weight and be tiny and do *that* diet for 4 weeks before you go”. Which will make you feel shit and won’t do a thing for your self-esteem or the scales.

“Women, you’re getting married, you need to lose weight and be two dress sizes smaller than you are now because you don’t normally look like that and it will make you look under-nourished and the person you are marrying will leave you at the alter if you rock up in anything more than a size 10 dress”

“Women, you will not succeed if you’ve gained weight. You cannot have that career you deserve because you won’t even get past the interview stage if you’re taking up more space than a 12-year-old girl would”

“Women, starve yourself. You will find happiness in that plain rice cake with ¼ teaspoon of cottage cheese on it because you’re allowed your syn chocolate bar on Saturday”

“Women don’t enjoy any celebration because you don’t deserve the cake, you don’t deserve to have a glass of wine”

“Women, fix yourself up, you’ve got bigger”

“You are gross, you are not small. You’re supposed to be small”

“Women, stop taking up space”

Ugh. Shut up. I’m sick of hearing that women need to lose weight. All I hear is that women need to stop taking up so much room. And this is absolutely not the case.

The outrageous story had no plot. It left out vital clues. Imperative information that would allow women to work out their happy ending.

What you haven’t been told is that deliberate dieting and weight loss is the main contributor to weight gain because of the way your body responds to restriction of energy. Dieting, food restriction, counting calories, fasting, cutting out food groups, following ANY sort of rules about what you can and can’t eat or whatever way dieting has been wrapped up ultimately is the main cause of weight gain.

So sister, edit this script. Leave the rehearsal, it’s sham. Join the main stage as the heroine. Own the script, direct your journey, bring others with you. Feel your worth. Grow into your power. Own your strength.

You Don’t Need To Lose Anything – How About Adding To Yourself Instead?

In business terms, added value is the different between the selling price and the cost price of goods or service. When a product or service is made more appealing, customers are willing to pay more.

Adding value increases the amount of profit a business can make.

Apply this to yourself.

How about not trying to shrink ourselves. How about instead of reducing ourselves, adding to ourselves adds value or increases what we are. In real life, this means our self-worth, our tigress prowess and strength.

Let’s build on this (excuse the pun!), let’s develop this thought process.

What if adding to our bodies was a mark of success?

Increasing ourselves should mean celebration – when we increase ourselves by adding to our health and giving our bodies what they need – strength, muscle, speed, food, rest, joy, ability to care for ourselves – this is to be celebrated.

Reduction of ourselves via punishment is not to be celebrated.

How about we own our narrative and rewrite that f**king fairy tale. How about we improve our body image through carefully selecting things that will better improve our incredible bodies. We add strength to our bodies.

How about we offer ourselves freedom to enjoy ourselves and give ourselves confidence in the way we sit, stand or dance?

How about we learn to enjoy the slice of cake without berating ourselves for accepting a slice? How about we celebrate with the glass of wine and don’t drain the bottle to block out the negative chatter about how many calories are in the glass?

How about we tell the next generation that in order to find success, we have to be kind to ourselves and tend to our bodies like we are athletes?

If someone wrote a feel-good story about feeling fabulous, standing tall, incredible health for a lifetime, steady hormonal balance, being able to do hard things without asking a man for help and not feeling weird around food all the time, would you subscribe? If you knew it included secrets that should be shared about shaking off that drag of pining to be lighter and smaller, would you get on the waiting list for it?

Would you allow yourself to believe in magic? Would you allow yourself to hope that eating a takeaway does not mean having to restrict normal eating for a week to off-set it?

The protagonist in this happy-ever-after that you’ve started to develop is confident, she has friends who lift her up, she’s confident, she’s strong, she’s healthy, she faces her own destiny face on because when you own your own fairy tale, you’re in charge of making great change and it starts with accepting that you can add to your best self and keep growing. Not taking away.

Lifting weights is the magic spell.

When your muscles do hard things they respond by becoming harder and heavier. You form great habits, you feel good.

Which may or may not result in fat loss. But this legend isn’t about weight loss, shrinking, starving or berating ourselves. The way this goes is that the protagonist in this story depicts a strong woman with confidence, freedom and the ability to enjoy food rather than punish herself for eating it. She gains emotional strength, physical strength, friendships through shared interests and happiness by adding to her body, not taking away.

Specifically, when you stop thinking you need to lose weight and chasing the perfect number on the scales and stop taking away the joy of food and starving your body of the good stuff then you reap benefits that you need.

You might weigh more you, might weigh less but the end goal isn’t a specific weight that you associate with being smaller.

This is a level of freedom we’ve never been allowed or allowed ourselves.

When you make your body do hard things like lifting weights or your own body weight then you will build on muscle and improve your health on all levels, regardless of what the scales say.

You might notice that the shrunken body that you were aiming for doesn’t seem too important anymore because the strength you have with developing your muscles feels so good.

Let’s take some time now to consider this and rewrite the story we’ve been told and won’t be telling our children. It’s ok to take up space. It’s not ok to be required to punish yourself with negative chatter around food. There is no such thing as good or naughty food. When we lift weights and feel strong, we can eat whatever we want and I promise you, you’ll want to nourish your body and feed it well.

You are stronger

When you hit mid-30s, your bones, muscles, metabolic rate and hormonal health have already started declining and really start dwindling at this age. If you don’t do something about this (and not just stopping going to the pub every night) then your physical health will deteriorate and you will be more prone to illness as your lifespan starts shortening due to inaction.

Lifting weights will change our relationship with gravity but it will also change the relationship we have with ourselves. Our strength increases and our muscles are treated to the weight they deserve. They make you feel hard, then you can open jars of pickled onions and move heavy stuff. You’re less likely to injure yourself and more likely to keep chasing the feeling you get when you lift heavy weights. It makes you feel incredible, and your children think you are superwoman.

Increased bone density

Strength training results in stronger and denser bones which in turn prevents you from increasing your chances of breaking or fracturing bones. If you already have low bone mass and continue to lose bone density, then this can lead to osteoporosis. Can we add th

Normal blood pressure

Normal blood pressure is vital for your body to function. Without blood pressure, the nutrients and oxygen required to power blood through our circulatory system to our tissues and organs wouldn’t be delivered, nor would white blood cells be distributed through our bodies.

Lifestyle changes to improve blood pressure include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, eating well, not smoking, cutting back on caffeine and reducing your stress.

Lifting kettlebells could be inserted to this sentence. Lifting kettlebells will improve your blood pressure, help maintain a healthy weight, is exercise, will make you not want to smoke, will reduce stress and possible reduce your caffeine intake because you’ll want to drink more water.

Improve metabolic rate

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) also known as your metabolism is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest. Any increase to your metabolic weight – such as exercise will increase your BMR. Another incredible addition to your precious body.

Increase your pain tolerance

When you repeatedly push your body into doing hard things, it adapts oh-so-quickly and allows you to push harder, feel harder and push through resulting in feeling like a goddess. A goddess who will suffer less from chronic pain because you trained your body.

Expand your energy levels

The more energy you use, the more your body will have available. This might be hard to believe after an intense training session, however, a few hours later your energy levels increase, and you feel more energetic. This is not an empty promise, this is science. Mitochondria is what your body produces to produce most of the chemical energy needed to power your cell’s biochemical reactions. The more you expend, the more you produce.

Balance your hormones

Exercise, specifically resistance training positively benefits your hormonal health. It reduced insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that has many functions. One is allowing cells to use sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream, which are then used for energy and maintaining muscle. Too much insulin has been linked to inflammation, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Strength and endurance training has been proven to balance insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin levels which also resulted in weight-loss.

Muscle maintaining hormones that decline with age can also be boosted through strength training. Combined training programmes produces more improvement of body composition than aerobic training alone.

The hormonal imbalance we can feel in the luteal phase of our monthly cycle has been proven to have improved through physical activity for those experiencing some symptoms and severe symptoms.

Healed body image

Lifting weights has magical powers. Here’s a scenario, you might start lifting weights to “tone up”. That’s fine. Most women do. HOWEVER. You will probably get the bug.

The better you lift, the heavier you lift. The better and heavier you lift, the more your body changes and your brain starts to connect movement with feeling f*cking incredible rather than about punishment. You cannot get stronger from a position of punishment because strength training NEEDS recovery. Rest and food. The two things women have been told will make them undesirable. Well f*ck that; I want to lift another PR, I need rest and food!

Lifting weights is The Gateway to a strong body image. A strong body image is much more obtainable and unshakeable than a “good” body image.

Extended lifespan

Maintaining fitness will extend your lifetime. Fact. Not only will you feel brilliant by increasing your movement and strength, but you will also live longer.

General f*cking awesomeness (probably the most important thing on this list).

So, we know now that rewriting our story means adding to ourselves and not taking away. Now we’re feeling fantastic because we’re producing endorphins that are neurotransmitters that make you feel good. We’re also sleeping better because we’re moving and reaping all of the benefits of adding value to ourselves.

We are looking after ourselves because building ourselves up requires paying attention to our bodies needs rather than denying them.

This story is about treating ourselves and other women like the powerful athletes and this is the happy ending we’ve all been promised.

We cannot be too strong.

The End.


Juno Fitness

I’m Shell Gilkes, the founder of Juno Fitness and Strong Girls Kettlebell Club; online and in-person group personal training to teach and support women to train their bodies to be strong, healthy and powerful.

I empower women like you to abandon pointless hours of cardio and dieting to help you to finally feel the way you’ve always wanted to feel in your body through treating it like an athlete.

Think about it; how would it feel to focus on what your body can do (cool stuff like press-ups and deadlifts) and how it feels (strong, mobile, powerful, full of energy), rather just on what it looks like?

We cannot be too strong. Join the movement. Come along. Everyone is welcome.

Email me: info@juno-fitness.co.uk

Call me: 07963727581

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